Review: Inspiration from comedy

I am taking a day of rest this Sunday. I have been going pretty steady 7 days a week with my latest project (writing a project proposal on healthy and active aging with Aalborg University) and a month of that, plus my own work, has me feeling a bit pooped today. Tomorrow, I start a new project with Copenhagen Living Lab, trying to bring music therapy into nursing homes here in the area.

And on my day off, I am catching up on laundry, dementia in the news, dishes (oh, the dishes…), yoga, and my favorite show, Parks and Recreation. I don’t know any other series that puts me in such a good mood as Parks and Rec.

And one person who I really admire is Leslie Knope. I think she’s a great role model for women.

She’s little too gung-ho for her colleagues, her passion is evident, and her enthusiasm is contagious. She is genuinely excited about her work and this makes her annoying enthusiasm lean more towards endearing.

If you haven’t seen the US comedy TV series “Parks and Recreation,” I recommend you discover it tonight. Episodes are only 20 minutes, and I guarantee will tickle your funny bone.

I even love the theme song and will literally dance or sing to it every time I hear it. It’s my happy song.

I can be a bit on the Leslie Knope side when it comes to gerontology and dementia. I can slip it into nearly any conversation and I genuinely get excited if people ask me questions about aging or dementia. So, one of my ideas for entrepreneurship was to make a comedy show like Parks and Rec at a nursing home. This would be right up my alley!

Lo and behold! The universe has heard my thoughts! “Derek” is a UK comedy show created by Ricky Gervais. Seeing as I know nearly nothing about writing or producing tv shows, it’s almost certainly best that Ricky Gervais is doing this instead of me:)  The show is set in a nursing home. It follows the lives of the manger Hannah, Derek – an “intellectually delayed” adult who works there, some of the other staff, and the residents. Hannah and Derek are the main characters.

I first heard about Derek when I came across a review on the show which posited whether or not the show was ageist. I had to find out for myself. Plus it sounded good. So, I watched both seasons of the series in less than a week and had a great time with it! I laughed, I cried, I recommended it to others. And you can bet I am keeping my eyes peeled for Season 3.

In fact, the show touches on issues which are important, like meaningful activities, the budget and funding difficulties that nursing homes all too often experience, connections with family and friends, dating and sex, and end of life. They often use these moments to teach through comedy – brilliantly done.

Have you seen these shows? Let us know your thoughts on them in the comments below.

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